2017 Conference Cameo: Michael Spires

#NORDP2017 starts Monday, May 8 in Denver, CO. Keep checking back here at the blog and on our Twitter feed (@NORDP_official) for live conference updates. Register here: http://www.nordp.org/conferences.
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Who: Michael Spires, Principal Proposal Analyst
Where: University of Colorado Boulder
Number of years in research development: 11
Length of NORDP membership: 6
Number of NORDP conferences attended: 6
How do you unwind? Reading, movies, cooking, Civilization V

I’ve been working in research development since the fall of 2006, when David Stone, a NORDP past president, hired me at Northern Illinois University. Since then, I’ve worked at the Smithsonian Institution and, for the last three years, at the University of Colorado Boulder, where I’m one of only a few individuals doing research development. (I like to think of myself and my small cadre of colleagues as the wedge that’s leading the way to a lot more.)

My job is a blended one: I have both research development and researchdsc_0783 administration functions. That’s been the case with most of my jobs in this field, except at the Smithsonian, where I was exclusively focused on research and proposal development.

Although I’ve only been a NORDP member myself for six years, I can honestly say I’ve been in the know about NORDP since its inception, since Dave Stone was one of the people who got the organization off the ground, and he routinely sang its praises to me and my colleagues in his office. I formally joined the organization in around 2011, and I’ve been serving as a member of NORDP’s Board of Directors since 2014. This year, I’m the NORDP vice president/president elect, and also the conference chair.

The annual conference is a great opportunity—whether you’re brand-new to NORDP and research development, or whether you’re an old pro. This is where you come to meet your people—the folks who know what it is you do without lengthy explanations, and who can share war stories and best practices with you, help you make connections, and even get involved with NORDP and its day-to-day operations.

To get the most of out a NORDP meeting, plan ahead! Look at the session lineup, and find the two or three talks each session that you want to attend. (Then try to find friends or colleagues who can attend the sessions you can’t go to, and share notes.) Go to the receptions and the Idea Showcase—it’s a great opportunity to mix and mingle, and meet new people. Sit next to someone new, or invite someone not from your office to your table, during breakfast or lunch. Sign up to attend (or host!) a networking dinner: another great way to meet new colleagues and learn new things, while also getting the chance to explore outside the conference hotel.

 

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We hope to see you at the 2017 NORDP Research Development Conference, which will be held May 8-10 in Denver, CO. For more information about the conference program or to register, visit http://www.nordp.org/conferences. Follow @NORDP_official on Twitter for all the latest #NORDP2017 updates.

If you’d like to be featured in a Conference Cameo, let us know at rdconf@nordp.org

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